28 March 2020

William Brother’s Benno Craft Lager (Aldi) By @SpectreUK

William Brother’s Benno Craft Lager

I'm not much of a lager drinker, as it usually makes me burp quite a lot. Besides most people who know me would probably tell you that I'm already full of enough wind as it is, without giving me further excuse! However I did find this William Brother's Benno Craft Lager in my beer fridge earlier and thought I'd give it a go, whether further wind or not…

The back of the 330ml can of this Benno Craft Lager tells me that William Brother's Brewing Company, in Scotland, created this lager as a tribute to the Bavarian 'father' of modern brewing, Benno Scharl (1741-1812). Benno was credited as being the first brewer to use the term 'lagering' as a process of cool fermentation, which is then followed by maturation over a period of time in cold storage.

Upon opening the can of this 4.4% volume craft lager there was a hearty ker-chunk-fizz… This bright golden shining lager instantly cheered me upon pouring. Let's face it, at the moment with this terrible bug engulfing the world it's often the little things that can bring a smile. There is a herbal hoppy bitter aroma followed closely by the sweet barley malts. On first taste there is a sheer crisp mixed citrus and herbal bitter hoppiness. This almost jumble of hops brings the citrus to the fore initially, which gives way to the more herbal notes and then the citrus bitterness wins through for a another bout. These busy hops then step back a little for the sweeter malts which almost smooths out the crispiness of this cheerful bubbling brew. This William Brother's Benno Craft Lager is a flavoursome lager, and I reckon it makes an excellent tribute that Benno would be very happy with himself.

27 March 2020

Maryland Cookies N Cream (Asda) By @Cinabar

These new biscuits were purchased online at Asda, when I booked a slot three weeks in advance that finally came this week. I’m pleased to say it brought quite a few new products to write about, clearly when the apocalypse comes new biscuits aren’t at the top of everyones priority, they were on my list though.
So buying these Maryland Cookies N Cream online I assumed they would be more like an Oreo style biscuit with a cream in the middle but when they arrived they were single biscuits with creamy drops on top. Several of the cream drops on the biscuits had fallen out which meant several of the biscuits had holes in various places and didn’t look so nice.
The cream drops were tasty, but not that different from white chocolate in flavour. The base flavour of these Maryland Cookies N Cream was quite rich in chocolate which I really liked, the flavour worked well. They reminded me a lot of eating chocolate cake in terms of the flavour, rich chocolate, cakey and with a hint of some sort of cream. I liked these, and I’m pleased we had biscuits on our order. I know searching for new products, well even supermarket slots at the minute, is difficult but if you can get these you shouldn’t be disappointed.

26 March 2020

4Move Witamin Drinks - Polish Import Shop (@NLi10)

I love import shops, or more accurately the local shops for imported people.  One of my favourites is the Polish shop that has a lot of discounts.  Trouble is it's hard to see what is in the cans...

Go - Google Translator Lens!

Ok - so i admit - the English is on the back of the cans, but I impressed you with the technology at least briefly yes?

All the different drinks have a variety of vitamins in.  They all look very similar though - makes me wonder if one flavour with all the vitamins in would have been easier.

I got a new wobbly person badge to keep people away from me, and with the meds I take it certainly doesn't hurt to have a few extra vitamins in the system and these are quite nice drinks.

At 3 for £1.20 I don't mind the smaller size and the slight fizz and the almost tonic like flavour certainly adds a kick to the afternoon.  Almost certainly healthier than the 2l bottle of Pepsi I picked up for the same perky reasons.

Yup - 3 flavours - three slightly different colours, and equally slightly different tastes.  These aren't Red Bull style so are work-safe and I think the smaller size helps as you get a nice quick fizzy pick-me-up.

If these are still in the bargin section of the fridge when I next brave The Event to go scavanging for food then I'm sure I'll get some.  And I have to go to the Polish shop anyway as they still have pasta in stock (and it's the good thick stuff too!)

25 March 2020

Wholesums Fresh Veg Popped Crisps (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

Wholesums Fresh Veg Popped Crisps

I'm always on the lookout for alternative snacks to crisps. Okay, so these Wholesums Salt of the Earth do seem to be crisps. However, these "fresh veg popped" crisps look particularly healthy. They are made from carrots, peas and potatoes. They are low in fat at 1.2g per 22g bag, because they are popped crisps and not fried. They are gluten free, are a good source of fibre, and have 86 calories in the packet. They are also Vegan friendly. Not that I'm a Vegan, but that's what it says on the bag.

On opening the packet the small oval crisps inside looked a little like crushed coins from one of those press-machines at a fairground. There were slightly beige ones that were obviously potato crisps, which ironically tasted like very lightly salted popped potato crisps. The carrot ones were a slightly orange colour, had more of a crunch than the potato crisps, and still tasted like very lightly salted popped potato crisps. The greenish pee crushed flat popped crisps tasted a lot different to the other two flavours. They had yet more of a crunch to them and tasted a bit more like a green vegetable popped crisp. These pee crisps were not unpleasant in flavour and still tasted very lightly salted like the popped carrot and also popped potato crisps. Unfortunately I found that these popped vegetable crisps weren't very tasty though. When the packet stated "Salt of the Earth", I just expected a little more salt than I received. I do like Ready Salted crisps, but I'm afraid not this lightly salted.

Information on the packet;
At 22g the bag has 86 calories, with 1.2g of fat, 0.5g of sugar, and 0.3g of sugar. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Wholesums Fresh Veg Popped Crisps

24 March 2020

Heinz Seriously Good Truffle Mayo (Ocado) By @Cinabar

While stock taking the cupboards at Foodstuff Finds, in order to prep for the lockdown, in amongst the cupboard and hidden within a reassuring supply of baked beans and soups I stumbled across this jar of Heinz Seriously Good Truffle Mayo. Clearly it was bought for Christmas, clearly it was bought in better times and clearly it got forgotten about. At least we had some mayonnaise to open and it just happens to be the ultra posh stuff.
There is quite a strong mushroom scent to this mayo, it isn’t subtle but it works rather well. The flavour is rich and we had it to dip chips in. The taste was still creamy, but the added truffle enchanted the flavour and made it feel more like a proper dip, this would actually be really nice with chicken dippers or nuggets. I’m not sure it would go that well with salad, and if I manage to buy lettuce I will let you know! I was really pleased to rediscover this jar in the cupboard during these strange times.
In other news I had an Asda order arrive (which was booked three weeks ago) and that managed to bring with it some new products, so at least I have a few things to write about during the lockdown. I also found a few other goodies in the cupboard stock take so I’m hoping we can keep you entertained each day for a while yet. Stay safe everyone.

23 March 2020

Coffee and Walnut Cake Chocolates (Hotel Chocolat) By @Cinabar

Coffee and Walnut Cake Chocolates

I’m working from home for now for a bit. My work has been wonderful with this horrendous virus and made sure we are all ok to work from and have everything we need and we are all keeping in touch online. On my last commute through Birmingham New street I popped into the little branch of Hotel Chocolat to pick up a treat, my favourite chocolates from there, these Coffee and Walnut Cake Chocolates.

Coffee and Walnut Cake Chocolates

I love nuts with chocolate and I love coffee so it should be no surprise that these are high on my priority list. The chocolate consists of a strong coffee base, praline, and a piece of walnut all wrapped in a milk chocolate. It isn’t that sweet but the burst of coffee, crunchy nut and silky praline hits the spot every time. Crunchy and smooth, and a lovely combination of flavours. Coffee and chocolate were meant for each other I do wish there were more coffee chocolates about, the addition of the nut is a pleasure. These are a bit of a naughty treat, but in these times I think we should focus on the odd thing that makes us smile.
Hotel Chocolat sell online, as do many of my favourite high street shops, so I will be switching to more online shopping than usual. It is good to support business who will be hit by the closure of shops and also to have a treat now and then.

22 March 2020

Isolation and Rationing - Cofresh Gathia Yellow (@NLi10)

Work have provided me with a mini laptop so I don't have to go in all 7 days a week and can work a few at home.  This is a relief as its probably at the point where I want to consider not using the busses.

And my home is in a very multicultural area so I can get to many different nationalities and cultures of shop - meaning that while I may not be able to pick up English brands as easily at the supermarkets, the smaller stores that probably require my support more at this time can easily keep me fed.

Long time readers will know that we have a bit of a Cofresh addiction in our house - especially the more 'crisp' based ones.  Going to the proper Indian stores and not just the corner-shop opens up a whole extra side of the brand.  Here we have one of the best parts of the mix bags - the Gathia noodle style crisps.

Not very healthy, but very very nice.

I'm not sure which western crisp comes closest, they are almost like a denser version of the french fry, or similar to the Marks & Spencer hard salt and vinegar chips. The taste is of very mild curry, no heat, just that cumin 'yellow' flavour.  They are really great and this whole bag was a pound and has lasted days.

If you don't want to face the crowds and empty shelves of the supermarkets then check out your local international food shops.  You may not get Walkers Crisps (well thats a lie - they had those too) but you should find everything you need to get by.

Stay safe everyone! 

21 March 2020

Schloss Eggenberg Hopfen Konig (Germany) By @SpectreUK

Schloss Eggenberg Hopfen Konig

Before I start writing about this lager beer I hope that you don't mind, but I'm just going to say a few words about the scary times we're having at the moment. I say; "we", because we're all in this together; the whole world. I know that many of our readers are from many different countries and we appreciate all of your support in these troubling times. We appreciate every single one of you. When Cinabar told me that she had created a bog with a friend from work all those years ago I remember saying that no-one would ever read it. I was clearly wrong. We have a community of over 3000 readers a day. We always have appreciated you over the last ten or so years since this blog was created and we always will. It can be difficult to admit, but we are all scared. We are scared of catching this terrible bug and equally scared of passing it on to someone else that may lose their lives to it, or pass it on to someone else that does. We are all strong. No matter who you are or where you are from.

We will carry on with daily posts as best we can. Even if we end up writing about a tin of beans - we will carry on… So during this troubling period I'm likely to be switching to blogging about beer a bit more. Much to my chagrin I'm handing over many of the items I have for my own greedy self in the Foodstufffinds's storage cupboard to Cinabar. She can write about those, just as long as I get a nibble… er… on the snacks or whatever, and I will switch over to my beer supply in my cavernous beer fridge. I have plenty to write about in there just as long as I don't get ill in the meantime.

They were keeping my gym open with social distancing guidelines, but they have closed that now. After a lot of consideration I have worked out an exercise regime that I can do in the house. I have free weights I can do upper and lower body exercise three times a week. I have learnt a few yoga moves I can do three times a week, and I have my crazy abdominal burnout sessions that I can do for an hour or so every day. YouTube is very good at showing you all manners of exercises if you want to keep fit indoors. I'll miss the bike and swimming, sauna and steam room at the gym until it reopens, but can jog for several minutes now, so will do that around the estate unless they stop us going out and I'll have to jog around in circle in the back garden.

Anyway, after all that babbling on I'm pretty thirsty… I was brought back this beer and a few others from Germany a few months ago before this scary virus closed all the borders. Google reliably informs me that Eggenberg Castle is a castle located in Vorchdorf, in Northern Austria. The castle is famous for its brewery. The label is almost completely in German or Austrian, depending on how you look at it, so you may have to bare with me…

At 5.1% in volume, Schloss Eggenberg Hopfen Konig is a lager beer, so I'm hoping it's not too bubbly otherwise I'll be burping all night from it. It has an ingenious pull open bottle top that puts my bottle opener out of business for tonight. Made with barley malt there is more of a slight hint of pils to the hoppy smell underneath the sweet malts in the aroma. On pouring this lager beer, there was quite a fizz and the bitter hops hit my tastebuds first, which were then smoothed out by the sweet barley malts. This is a very flavoursome bubbly lager beer and should go well with my fried chicken dinner, which I've just been called for…. So, cheers to all of you and please take care where ever you are in the world over the next few weeks and months.

20 March 2020

Choco Matcha Sweets (Japan) By @Cinabar

Choco Matcha Sweets

Today is an exciting day in the gaming world as it is the release of Animal Crossing New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch. As I eagerly await the delivery of my game from Amazon Prime, a delivery I’m more excited about than the overpriced toilet roll which was also on the order, my thoughts turned to Japanese snacks. I have spent many hours of my life playing the original Animal Crossing, and what better way than to celebrate Japanese culture than trying out these Choco Matcha Sweets which a friend brought back from Japan (from a time when it was safer to travel) while I wait.
So the packaging is almost entirely in Japanese, but I know the sweets inside are flavoured with matcha tea, I’m still not that sure what to expect. The cute packaging doesn’t offer many clues for those of us not familiar with the language, my best guess was for some kind of chewy sweets.

Choco Matcha Sweets

Inside the bag were individually wrapped chocolates! They are green in colour because of the matcha tea but were a flavoured white chocolate with a filling that was jelly like but firm and chewy. The flavour was really good, these are creamy sweet chocolates with a nice hint of matcha tea, this is mild so still sweet. I loved the mix of textures, the white chocolate cracks and the jelly centre comes in to its own before melting away. I found these Choco Matcha Sweets rather moreish and they got me through some work teleconferences rather well. I think when the world gets back to rights I would definitely ask for some more of these, they are lovely but very different to anything we have over here.

Choco Matcha Sweets

19 March 2020

One last Pre-isolation Nandos - Mozam Style (@NLi10) @NandosUK

I tend to have a few reviews in the tank - mainly because there is a time lag on what I buy and when I eat it - so here we have a restaurant review while the UK is on lock-down.  I suspect it'll be delivery food for a few weeks for us!

We had Nando's points to redeem so pre cinema (those are shut too!) we popped along to our local (clean - big enough for social distancing) and had a look at what we could get.

They had a new wrap on the menu - and as it's a charity one it seemed like a good plan.

Fruity AND spicy? Sounds like the amazing fruit curries I've had.  I'm in!  It's oddly similar to a black-bean sauce, but with the kick in a different place (if that makes sense).

Because of the reward points I got to have two sides - garlic bread and fries - but they were not that interesting.  Should always go for the spicyrice!

The Mozam wrap itself was amazing.  I almost ordered a second.  The sweet and fruity side with the strong garlic and spicy chicken was really something I was a fan of.  I went for my typical medium, but this extra sauce tamed it a little so I think I'd risk a hot (which I often do, but Medium is better for a date I think!).  I want to have this again - but at the moment I don't think that's going to happen.

I hope that the virus doesn't wipe out our spread of fast food places.  As ubiquitous as Nando's (and their queue) can be they do actually try a lot harder than some chains would and continue to innovate their menu.  I suspect though it will be the smaller, less recognisable places that go first, so I guess I'll have to make a special effort to order food (or collect after work).

As a side note - I actually work in a Hospital Labs doing the numbers side of things as my real person job.  This week has been a bit more chaotic and stressful than I'd have liked, and really - it's just going to get harder.  Do try to keep an eye on relatives and friends - both those who are more at risk healthwise, and those who suddenly find themselves working longer weeks (instead of eating carbonaras in Rome). Its going to take a lot of time and energy to get back to what we had before all this, and funny little distractions like spicy chicken are a big help!

18 March 2020

Twix Salted Caramel Fingers (Poundland) By @SpectreUK

Twix Salted Caramel Fingers

I don't know whether chocolate snacks flavoured with salted caramel went out of fashion for a while, or if Twix have just caught up? Being a snack food blogger I suppose I probably should know, but I'm pretty lazy and I don't keep on track with everything… I seem to spend much of my days exercising, revising for recertification for my profession at the end of this month, whilst trying to avoid political conversations in the sauna or catching the new terrible bug!

Anyway, Twix Salted Caramel Fingers… I do eat a lot of Twixs. I'm not sure on the plural of Twix. In truth I've not really thought about that either. There are generally two Twix fingers in a packet, and that's not referred to as Twixs, but there you go! Anyway, at just less than 100 calories the odd one or two from a multipack of nine packets of Twix(s) goes down rather well for an afternoon pick-me-up or a low calorie after dinner treat with a white hot chocolate. These Twix Salted Caramel Fingers are slightly more than 100 calories, but I think I can cope with the very slight increase.

Twix Salted Caramel Fingers

On opening the multipack of these Twix Salted Caramel Fingers I found that there are only one Twix finger per pack, rather than the original double ones I'm used to. I noticed through comparison that these salted caramel fingers are slightly longer, but still it doesn't explain how there can be far more calories in a slightly longer single finger than two original slightly shorter ones from a multipack.

On peeling back the wrapper I found that this salted caramel finger looks pretty much the same as the regular flavour. In fact exactly the same, as it is covered in milk chocolate, with the biscuity bit at the bottom and the caramel part at the top. However, on biting into the finger I noticed it was a little more crunchy than usual. The caramel seemed the same but I quickly noticed that there were flecks of salt mixed in with the caramel rather than the salted caramel I've tasted in other bars. These flecks had their own crunch and a few found themselves between my old teeth. I wasn't so keen on this, however Cinabar and her Mom liked these Twix Salted Caramel Fingers. I have to say I rather prefer the original Twix flavour to these flecks of salt, so I reckon I'll stick to what I know!

Information on the packet;
9 x Twix Salted Caramel Fingers at 23g per packet weighs in at 207g, with 113 calories per packet, 5.4g of fat, 11g of sugar, and 0.19g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Twix Salted Caramel Fingers

17 March 2020

Mackie’s of Scotland Mint 70% Cocoa Chocolate (Lidl) By @Cinabar

Mackie’s of Scotland Mint 70% Cocoa Chocolate

Mackie’s of Scotland is a company I associate firstly with ice cream. They then went on to make crisps, which is diversifying quite a bit, it isn’t a similar market. When I was in Lidl I spotted this Mackie’s of Scotland Mint 70% Cocoa Chocolate bar which means they have entered the confectionary market too. Basically Mackie’s of Scotland seem to make all the treat foods I really like, which is fine by me.

Mackie’s of Scotland Mint 70% Cocoa Chocolate

This mint bar is a dark chocolate bar mixed with mint crystals. I opened up the wrapper and was pleased to see a very smart looking bar inside. My bar was broke (this was due to the journey it took in my rucksack) but the pieces were all embossed with Mackie’s letter and icons, and it looked quite posh. The aroma was amazing, really strong mint and cocoa and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
The pieces snapped nicely and the flavour was quite strong of dark chocolate, but as you chewed the sweeter tones comes through as did a lovely rush of mint. The chocolate wasn’t too thick when it melted, but it did coat the tongue nicely. I would certainly look for other flavours from them as this bar was a hit.
It turns out Mackie’s are good at whatever they put their mind to be it haggis crisps or Mint 70% Cocoa Chocolate bars.

16 March 2020

Rolo Muffin (Costa) By @Cinabar

Rolo Muffin (Costa)

Thankfully there were two of these Rolo Muffins left in Costa when I went to make my order which meant I got to avoid any awkward questions about who got the last Rolo (Muffin). Thankfully it was me. Costa has teamed up with Rolo to release this new Spring edition to its menu. I do like caramel and chocolate muffins so I was rather looking forward to having this with my latte.
The Rolo Muffin has three mini Rolos on the top, sitting is a butterscotch flavoured caramel. I picked these off to start with and they were really good. The sauce on top was really tasty, the flavour was very rich and full on caramel. This for me was the best part of the muffin. The chocolate sponge was good too, and I ripped the muffin in half to look at the caramel sauce inside. Mine had a bit of a stingy portion, and the flavour of this caramel was more buttery and sweet, but I much preferred the topping to this bit in the middle.
This Rolo Muffin was good, I liked the link up between the two brands and I would I try it again. I wouldn’t fight to have the last one though, I’d be equally as happy with one of Costa’s salted caramel muffins to be fair. For me I just didn’t think there was enough caramel filling in the middle of my Rolo Muffin.

Rolo Muffin (Costa)

15 March 2020

Cheap Beers! Not just for men with beards. (@NLi10)

I'm enjoying my re-discovery of the world of beer.  I'd not really drunk it since uni and finding nice ones now my 40 year old taste buds have all died is quite fun.  England doesn't really understand the smoothness that I love, but there are a few to try still.

These are non-alcohol beers.  The left one was a bit too sharp. The right one was nicer.  Neither had any issues with not having the alcohol - it was more that they just aren't in the right part of the beer spectrum for me. Nice glasses too.

This was the cheapest beer in Asda that I liked the look of. Under £1!

Feldschlossen sounds like it should be getting sloshed in a field.  It isn't (it's small castle in the fields), but it's still suitably German enough that I'm probably going to have fun.

Made in France though - which is a bit confusing.  Apparently they are now owned by Carlsberg which is more disappointment.   But it's actually alright.  It's not Leffe, but it's certainly not English Pub Swill either.  One for the budget conscious days then, or for saving for with a strong curry.

14 March 2020

Raspberry Sour (Harbour Brewing Company) By @SpectreUK

Raspberry Sour (Harbour Brewing Company)

I'm often feeling a little lazy when I write a beer review. It's on these lazy occasions that I pick a beer from my cavernous beer fridge that has more of an explanation on the label. A label can often talk about the background of the beer, the brewery, the different malts and hops used in the brewing and any extra twists. Sometimes I find a beer that's worked it's way somehow to the front of the fridge that doesn't particularly have much information on the label at all. This Raspberry Sour is one of those beers. It only really tells me that raspberries were used in the brewing. It doesn't really say much else asides that it's 4.8% volume and that it's been produced by the Harbour Brewing Company in Bodmin, in North Cornwall. So I figured I may still be lazy and just open the 330ml bottle and see what it tastes like…

I remember in the past the sour beers I have had were pretty sour. Sour beers are intentionally acidic, with a tart sour flavour to make your toes curl as you drink them. On opening this Raspberry Sour it certainly had the "Wow!" factor of sour aromas. The beer was very acidic in smell to start with and then there were plenty of raspberries with their flick-knives out at the back of the aroma. This beer also has Lactobacillus in the ingredients beerandbrewing.com tells me that "Lactobacillus is one of the most common and most feared beer spoilage microorganisms. It belongs to the group of lactic acid bacteria." It's often used in yoghurts.

On pouring this deep red coloured wheat and malted barley beer, the colour reminded me of some horror movie I'd seen in the past at some point or other. I was beginning to wish I'd tried this beer around Halloween time. This Raspberry Sour beer is indeed face twistingly toe curlingly sour. There is almost a wheat and hint of sweet malted barley to start with which gets quickly overshadowed by the sourness from the raspberries and the extra special kick from the Lactobacillus. Wow, if you want an afternoon kick up the bum of a waker-upper brew than this is for you. Just don't drink it late at night, you may stay awake from the super sour flavour or at least have sour dreams of red beer that goes bump in the night!

13 March 2020

Kit Kat - Gold (Co-Op) By @Cinabar

This Kit Kat has been a hard one to track down, I have searched around several different branches of the Co-Op for this and it has taken me until now to find it. The idea is that it is a Gold edition Kit Kat and it sounded in theory what a lot like the old Caramac Kit Kat used to be like. I was so pleased when I went back to my local shop and found it, at the back of the shelf, the last couple of these in a box. Like finding gold, pun intended.
First thing to note was my inner child was really hoping for some edible gold leaf or glitter here, something that matched that shiny packaging. There wasn’t any there was just a two tone Kit Kat with a milk chocolate base and a beige colour top.
Inside the Kit Kat are the usual crunchy wafers, I’m always a fan of Kit Kat because of their textures and this Kit Kat Gold bar was no exception to that. The flavour was mostly of milk chocolate but with a nice caramel flavour twist. It was a little sweeter and a litter creamier than a regular Kit Kat, and it was tasty.
After all the searching for it I realised it wasn't all that exciting. It works, who doesn’t like chocolate, wafer and caramel, but it isn’t as full flavoured as the Caramac bar used to be, and it isn’t as pretty as it could have been either. Nice enough to try but quite happy to pop it in the category of decent bar but not one that will have the same nostalgia of the Caramac flavour.

12 March 2020

Good Mother Purple Goop - Bonne Maman Blackcurrant Mousse (@NLi10)

The online shopping gauntlet is hard.  Sometimes expensive but lovely thinks pop into the basket - like these very purple mousses.

I am reliably told that the brand means good/beautiful Mother, which suggests that its a French idea.  And the strength of the flavours here certainly agree - it puts undiluted Ribena to shame!

The lighting appears to be a bit off today - no Instagram likes for me.  The cat isn't even clearly in shot.  Mainly this was to show how small they are.

They are just purple goop, with actual berries in there too.  If you could find a way to serve this presentably I think you could say this is restaurant quality stuff.  Pop it next to a tiny ornate pastry and charge away.  Maybe not the best way to hit your 5-a-day but a lovely way to finish a meal at home.

11 March 2020

Flipz Salted Caramel (Ocado) By @SpectreUK

Flipz Salted Caramel

Cinabar has changed office location on Fridays to another town fairly nearby. She found a place a stone's throw away that sells freshly baked salted pretzels and generally has one for breakfast. I've never been all that fussed about pretzels. I know some people rave about them, but personally I prefer crisps. However I have had a few flavours of broken pieces of pretzels that were pretty good though.

Flipz Salted Caramel

As you can see from the photograph these Flipz are small bite sized salted pretzels with a salted caramel flavoured coating. It's funny because this morning I was lying in the sauna thinking that I should probably cut down on my salt intake, as I've been having a little too much lately. A few years back I spent a day in a spa going from saunas to steam rooms until my hands swelled up uncomfortably. Cinabar found out from the internet that this was because I'd been having too much salt in my diet. My hands did start to ache a little in the sauna this morning. Oh well, I'll start my salt diet tomorrow… Damn, I've got boiled eggs for lunch… Okay, Wednesday, definitely, Wednesday!

On opening the sharing bag there was a syrupy sweet smell from the multitude of small pretzels inside. Each pretzel was coated in a solid caramel sauce. The pretzels weren't sticky to pick up and the coating didn't melt on my fingers. There was a good crunch to these Flipz. On taste the salted caramel coating almost oozed over my tastebuds as I crunched through each pretzel. There was the sweetness from the caramel to start with, then its saltiness, then an almost biscuity flavour from the pretzel and also its added saltiness. These Flipz Salted Caramel are sweet and salty, moreish to the extreme and almost impossible to share. I can see myself eating these on a regular basis in front of a good movie or on a games night.

Information of the bag;
The 90g bag contains 108 calories per 22g serving, with 4.7g of fat, 8.6g of sugar and 0.2g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Flipz Salted Caramel

10 March 2020

Mint Maltesers Buttons (Poundland) By @cinabar

Maltesers Mint Buttons

I love both mint flavours with chocolate and malt flavours with chocolate too, but when I spotted these Mint Maltesers Buttons I have to confess I’m not sure I liked the sound of all three tastes being combined together. It just felt like it might be a bit much and I have to admit it sounded like it was a curious choice for a launch of a new chocolate.
The buttons are a few centimetres across and speckled with balls of malt, the aroma of mint is quite strong once the bag is open. I tried a button and found mint to be the dominant taste, it was sweet and fresh and I liked it, the chocolate is quite thick in its melt and rather rich and soothing, I liked this combined with the mint. The malt flavour (and bare in mind this is a Maltesers brand product so that should be dominant) was lost at first, but did develop towards the end of the flavour. I liked the crunch from the malt bits mixed in with the chocolate and I can’t say they weren’t malty, it is just they were very much mint with a hint.
Mint is an overpowering flavour, there aren’t many products I have had that have managed to combine it with something daring and win, (one exception is Limited Edition After Eight Mint with Mango-Pineapple). These Mint Maltesers Buttons are heavy on the mint but there is enough malt to make them work and enough of a light crunch to make them enjoyable to eat. I would buy these again very happily.

Maltesers Mint Buttons

9 March 2020

YumNut Plain Jane (Marks and Spencer) By @cinabar

YumNut Plain Jane (Marks and Spencer)

This is a new launch from Marks and Spencer where they have combined to cake treats and morphed them into one. Remember the CroNut (Croissant Doughnut), well this is the YumNut (Yum Yum Doughnut). There are various varieties of YumNut being launched by Marks and Spencers, eg Simply the Zest which is Lemon Meringue but the only flavour available in my local branch was Plain Jane, which is just covered in plain icing.
The YumNut is a curious invention for various reasons. If you google what a Yum Yum is the general consensus on the internet is that it is a long doughnut rope. Greggs, the brand I most associate with the delectable Yum Yum describes it as a “doughnut twist”. This poses an interesting question, if a Yum Yum is doughnut in a different form when you make is round surely a YumNut is just a Doughnut? Except it isn’t, which is confusing.

YumNut Plain Jane (Marks and Spencer)

A doughnut is usually spongey and fluffy, this YumNut is layered, like a Yum Yum (I don’t care what the internet says). The texture is fluffy, bubbly but firm, and a pleasure to eat. It has layers but is still a little bread like and a little crumbly, I thought it had an amazing texture. The icing on top was crumbly and sweet like a glaze, and giving a rather nice blast of sugary sweetness.
I still don’t know what a YumNut is, but I can tell you it was delicious. If you are a fan of textures in your food you will love this, it did make me smile. It might be called Plain Jane, but don’t let that put you off, it is far from a plain treat it was actually rather exciting to get my teeth into. I can’t wait to try the other flavours too, I have my eye on a Double Chocolate YumNut!

8 March 2020

A Glorious Mash-Up! Cadbury White Bar with Oreo (@NLi10)

When Oreo (Kraft) purchased Cadbury it was a sad day for Birmingham.  A lot of the products that had been produced in smaller numbers due to the premium crumb were switched to the generic chocolate and became less special - but more available.  One of the upsides has been that there are a lot of cross-over products we couldn't see before, but unusually today we see another more unexpected one.

Cadbury White Chocolate has always been fine.  Not good, not bad, just fine.  I'd say that the luxury brands (and ironically milky-bar) have understood what works well at low cocoa concentrations (raspberries) and what just doesn't sell.

Here though I think Cadbury have hit on something - mix your new flavours and sensations with the less distracting white chocolate and let those flavours flow!

It doesn't photo well.  The outside is vanilla Cadbury white chocolate.  The inside is lovely Oreo biscuit.  The insulation in this cavity wall of a choc bar is a white mush that both my partner and I recognised, but I'm not really clear where from.  I think it's their previous wave of choc bars with Oreo inside, but the proportions and density are so different it may be a new recipe.  Either-way without the Cadbury Dairy Milk on the outside to overpower it this just works.

This is probably the best white chocolate bar on the high-street right now (ignoring luxury brands) unless there is a white choc Bounty that I can't see on Google.  It is still white choc so if you don't like that (or texture layers) then this may not be for you - but if you like any part of this I urge you to pick some up while it's still on the 4 for £1 special offer.